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U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division

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Denysenko, A., M. Evans, N. Kholod, N. Butler, and V. Roshchanka.
EPA 430-R-19-003, 29 pp, 2019

Globally, the coal mining industry accounts for about 8% of total methane emissions. Coal mines capture methane mostly for safety reasons because methane can be dangerous for underground mining. After closure, however, underground coal mines continue to release methane into the atmosphere. This methane is known as abandoned mine methane (AMM). Depending on the quality of the coal mine gas and other factors, potential uses for recovery and utilization of AMM include electricity production; combined heat and power for industry and/or urban areas; and supply to commercial natural gas market via existing pipelines. Because of the value of these assets, methane recovery and utilization from abandoned mines can boost local economic growth, create new jobs, reduce air and water pollution, and increase national energy supply. This report presents case studies from Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the U.S., which have successfully developed an enabling environment for AMM recovery and utilization. Under EPA's Coalbed Methane Outreach Program, the Agency has supported studies of the economic potential and infrastructure requirements for recovery and utilization of AMM. The Program also has supported feasibility studies in two other countries: Pre-Feasibility Study for Methane Drainage and Utilization at the Tenghui Coal Mine, Shanxi Province, China (EPA 430-R-19-005A, 83 pp, 2019) Colombia Coal Mine Methane Market Study (EPA 430-R-19-002, 50 pp, 2019)

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